We pay! You do!
Tour guide (lets call her pack leader):
“Hello, we are tourist group from a the China, you have our rooms ready yes?”
Me: “Hello, welcome. The rooms are not ready just yet because check-in is at 3pm, and it is only 12pm. The other guests have not checked out yet.”
Tour Guide: “!!!!! you meaning is to, you want give us dirty rooms that other people did a sleep in?”
Pack Leader: “Well, give them call, tell them we need our rooms, we are a tired, and we here now!”
Me: “I’m sorry ma’am but we can’t force them out of the room, the guests are still checking out”
Pack Leader: “We paid so you must give us a room”
“The pack leader is explaining in Chinese the situation, and mixed up some words. And she said we don’t want them to check in”
Me (inner thought) “If I speak Chinese maybe I’ll be able to handle the situation”
So I explain to them, in Chinese, that if they just wait a little bit, we will get them their rooms, even though they checked in early.
And the subsequent response?
“OMG, he can speak the Chinese”
“A black guy speaking Chinese how can that be?”
“Foreigner’s can speak a Chinese??”
(Uh, this is my country, how am I still the foreigner…)
Since the group was from Shanghai, I met a few professors who taught at East China Normal University, the school I attended each study abroad program. And I was pretty much interviewed by them, questions they asked included my age, if I was married, if I had a girl, do I make a lot of money here, if I like Chinese food, do we have guns in the hotel (no lie) and all the while, my manager was like are you flippin’ kidding me, there’s a line of guests waiting to be checked in. No more humoring them! Get these guests checked in!
I told my boss, the problems that can happen if you don’t get the Chinese guests checked in, and ignore their questions.
So, back to the reality, I start checking in the next guest…
Pack Leader (In Chinese): “Hey, how come that person can check-in and we can’t? Do you not want us here”
Me (to pack leader) “Ma’am I’ll be with you in one moment”
Guest checked in…
Me (to pack leader): your group has 18 rooms, they are not all ready yet
Pack Leader: “ok ok, I know”
Next guest steps up,
Guest: I would like to check-out
After guest was checked out, the pack leader says to me again “can you give us his room? Come on man, we waiting for 10 minutes already!!!”
Me: “Look, I waited 7 years before I got this job, chillax and have a seat all the way in the back of the hotel away from the guests who want to check-out, go sit in the boondocks!”
(Is what I wanted to say) (What I actually said is..)
Me: “ma’am if you wait just a little longer, we will have your rooms ready”
10 minutes later, rooms are ready. It’s 12:30pm which is 2 and a half hours before check-in time anyway, so the group departs, some of the group members apologized for the pack leaders harsh words…(bite me)
Well, what’s next?
First call to the front desk
Chinese guest(He calls my associate): “Hello, can you speak the Chinese?”
Associate: “no, let me transfer you to Daniel”
Me (-_-): “hi, how can I help you?
Chinese guest: I can’t turn off the AC, can you help us turn it off
(Me and associates + manager thinking…Aren’t our AC’s made in China? zzz)
Me: “Ok, we can send our maintenance guy to turn it off for you.”
After 10 calls of similar questions, such as: Do you have teapots, do you have stoves for our cooking? Do you have this? or that?…
I said lunch time!
While outside the tour group chatted with me, some nice little old ladies gave me some candy..what am I? 5 years old? (it was actually really good too)
After my shift ended, I was called to translate over the phone…twice! But after they left the next day, all was peaceful in the world~
Interesting. Interesting because I had always read about infamous Chinese tour groups, how their reputation is. And I must say, while we didn’t have any of them jumping over the front desk, I was appalled by how they thought “we pay, you do”
Our manager is pretty cool and the hotel owner too, if a guest doesn’t deserve to be here, or is disturbing the peace, they will simply give them the boot. Overall, the whole thing was pretty interesting. It was so quiet and boring until they came in like a storm, I just hope next time, pack leader isn’t such a..